While developer Rockstar Games might want to keep the main narrative-based experience of their games secret, that doesn’t mean they aren’t above dropping a juicy detail here and there. With Max Payne 3, their forthcoming sequel to the popular noir thriller, Rockstar has kept gamers mostly in the dark aside from a few screenshots, a trailer, and some slim details.
In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find many gamers who knew that Max Payne 3 was going to be featuring its own multiplayer mode, one that, unlike its video game brethren, will actually tie back into the storyline.
According to Rockstar’s Dan Houser, who is the lead writer on Max Payne 3, the development team is exploring ideas that would see the multiplayer borrow elements from the single player, and potentially add to the narrative.
"We wanted to put some elements of single player into the multiplayer so the multiplayer will have a lot more detail and have elements of story in it and have a sort of an immersive quality. We think that's something that is underexplored in multiplayer."
While story elements in multiplayer aren’t exactly something that is “unexplored” — plenty of titles employ a co-op campaign to add a greater appeal to the game — they are harder to find, mostly because they are harder to control.
With two players running off in opposite directions, it’s hard to script those moments that reveal layers of the narrative without it feeling forced, or making two gamers sit through a cut scene. If Rockstar can find a solid middle ground, or a way to extend the story of Max Payne 3, through the multiplayer, gamers would be all for it.
This is also running under the assumption that Rockstar is working with a cooperative multiplayer rather than a competitive one. If it’s a competitive one they are trying to tie story elements into, then we have no clue what they could be cooking up.
As was said before, Max Payne 3 is still very much a mystery, and we expect that Rockstar is going to keep it that way, but as the promised release date for the game nears hopefully gamers can get a few more details on the game’s multiplayer, and how it ties into the story.
How would you like to see the multiplayer in Max Payne 3 tie into the single player narrative? Do you think the game needs a multiplayer mode?
Max Payne 3 is slated for a March 2012 release on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.